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Analytics customer keynote at TIBCONOW 2016

Michael O’Connell hosted the last general session for TIBCO NOW 2016, focusing on analytics customer stories with the help of five customers: State Street, Shell, Vestas, Monsanto and Western Digital. I’m not going to try to attribute specific comments to the customer representatives, just capture a few thoughts as they go by.

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  • Spotfire is allowing self-service analytics to be pushed down to the business users
  • Typically, the analysis going on in a number of different solutions — from Excel to BI tools — are able to be consolidated onto a single analytics platform
  • Analytics is allowing the business to discover the true nature of their business, especially with outliers
  • Real-time analytics on physical processes (e.g., supply chain) generates significant benefits
  • Providing visual analytics to business changes the way that they use data and collaborate across the organization
  • The enterprise-class back-end and the good visualizations in Spotfire are helping it to win over both IT and business areas
  • Data and events are being generated faster and in greater volumes from more devices, making desktop analytics solutions impractical
  • Business users who are not data specialists can understand — and leverage — fairly complex analytical models when it concerns their own data
  • Analytics about manufacturing quality can be used to identify potential problems before they occur

We finished up with a brief presentation from Fred Ehlers, VP of IT at Norfolk Southern, about their use of TIBCO products to help manage their extensive railway operations. He talked about optimizing their intermodal terminals, where goods shipped in containers are moved between trains, trucks and ships; asset utilization, to ensure that empty cars are distributed to the right place at the right time for expected demand; and their customer service portal that shows an integrated view of a shipment lifecycle to give customers a more accurate, real-time view. As an old company, they have a lot of legacy systems, and used TIBCO to integrate them, centralizing operational events, data and business rules. For them, events can come from their physical assets (locomotives and railway sensors), legacy reporting systems, partner networks for assets not under their ownership, and external information including weather. On this, they build asset state models, and create applications that automatically correlate information and optimize operations. They now have one source of data and rules, and a reusable set of data and services to make application development faster. Their next steps are predictive maintenance, gathering information from locomotives, signal systms, switches and trackside defect detector to identify problems prior to an equipment failure; and real-time visual analytics with alerts on potential problem areas. They also want to inmprove operational forecasting to support better allocation of resources, allowing them to divert traffic and take other measures to avoid service disruptions. Great case study that incorporates the two conference themes of interconnecting everything and augmenting intelligence.

We’re at the end of day 2, and the end of my blogging at TIBCO NOW; there are breakouts sessions tomorrow but I’ll be on my way home. Some great new stuff in BPM and analytics, although far too many sessions going on at once to capture more than a fraction of what I wanted to see.

ING Turkey’s journey to becoming a digital bank

I wanted to catch an ActiveMatrix BPM customer breakout session here at TIBCONOW 2016, so sat in on Rahsan Kalci from ING Turkey talking about their transformation to a digital bank using BPM, co-presenting with a senior BPM architect from TIBCO, Raisa Mahomed. I’ve always thought of ING Bank as innovative, both through personal experience and from reading case studies about how they apply technology to business problems.

wp-1463611831323.jpgING Turkey’s business problem four years ago was that customer-facing processes were taking too long, were inefficient and inconsistent, and weren’t fully documented so difficult for new users to learn. They decided to create a new operating model with AMX BPM at the core, supporting all of their business processes, and are in the midst of an operational transformation with 11 processes already implemented, and several others underway, ranging in complexity and customer engagement. They are building completely custom applications using the APIs rather than leveraging out of the box workspace tools, since they already had a robust user interface environment that they wanted to integrate with.

Throughput time on the now-standardized processes improved by 55%, providing greatly enhanced customer service that moved them from #6 to #3 in the market. From an operational cost point, transactions per employee increased by 38% allowing them to have a 36% reduction in operational staff (72 FTE). By using the workforce management capabilities in AMX BPM, they were able to determine parts of the process that could be near-shored (still in Turkey, but in less expensive locations than Istanbul), resulting in additional cost savings.

wp-1463611846312.jpgThey have an overall strategy for what processes to implement in what order. They picked their initial processes as not customer facing, but still important for their operations, and able to be done manually as a fall-back position. This allowed them to learn the tool and establish best practices, then start to consider processes that directly impact the customer journeys. Although they started with a team made up of both ING and TIBCO people, they are now working completely on their own to build new processes and roll out new applications. Their ultimate goal is to roll out BPM to all core processes, enhance their digital business with support for mobile internal and external users, and use Spotfire analytics more broadly in the back office to improve operational decision-making.

They were an early AMX BPM customer, starting on version 1.0 and now on 3.1, with plans for 4.1 in the near future. Their first process application took them 2 years, but that was a much broader implementation effort that built tools and infrastructure used by all later applications. They’ve had about 20 people working full time on the BPM projects for the past four years, a significant investment on their part but one that is obviously paying off for them.

ActiveMatrix BPM update at TIBCONOW

Roger King, head of BPM product management, gave us an update on ActiveMatrix BPM and Nimbus.

The most recent updates in AMX BPM have focused on data and case management. As we saw in the previous session on case management, their approach is data-centric with pre-defined process snippets that can be selected by the knowledge worker during execution.

As with most other BPMS platform vendors, they are positioning AMX BPM as an application development platform for digital business, including process, UX across multiple channels and application building tools. Version 4.0, released last year, focused on rapid user experience application development, case management enhancements, and process data and integration enhancements. Previously, you had to be a hard-core coder and afficiando of their APIs to create process applications, but now the app dev is much more accessible with HTML5 UI components (worklist, case, etc.), CSS, JavaScript APIs, and AngularJS and Bootstrap support in addition to the more traditional Java and REST APIs. They’ve also included a number of sample applications to clone and configure, including both worklist and case style. There is a complete app dev portal for administering and configuring applications, and the ability to change themes and languages, and define roles for the applications. Power developers can use their own favorite web app dev tool, or Business Studio can be used for the more integrated experience.

In their case management enhancements, they’ve added process-to-process global signalling with data, allowing any process to throw or catch global signals to allow for easy correlation between processes that are related based on their business data. In the case world, case data signals provide the same capability with the case object as the catching object rather than a process.

A new graphical mapper allows mapping between data objects, acting as a visual layer over their data transformation scripting.

Service processes are now supported, which are stateless processes for high-speed orchestration.

There is now graphical integration with external REST services, in the same way that you might do with WSDL for SOAP services, to make the integration more straightforward when calling from BPM.

IMG_9508AMX BPM 4.1 is a smaller release announced here at the conference, with the continued evolution of s a AMX BPM as an app dev platform, some new UI components for case management, and enhancements to the bundled apps for work management and case management styles as a quick-start for building new applications. There are some additional graphical mapper capabilities, and a dependency viewer between projects within Business Studio.

On the Nimbus side, the big new thing is Nimbus Maps, which is a stripped-down version of Nimbus that is intended to be more widely used for business transformation by the business users themselves, rather than by process experts. It includes a subset of the full Nimbus feature set focused just on diagramming and collaboration, at a much lower price point.

A flying tour through recent releases, making it very obvious that I’m overdue for a round of TIBCO briefings.

IMG_9509He next gave us a statement of direction on the product lines, including more self-service assessment, proof of concept and purchasing of products for faster selection and deployment. By the end of 2016, expect to see a new cloud-based business process execution and application development product from TIBCO, which will not be just a cloud layer on their existing products, but a new technology stack. It will be targeted at departmental self-service, with good enough functionality at a reasonable price point to get people started in BPM, and part of TIBCO’s overall multi-tenant cloud ecosystem. The application composition environment will be case-centric, although will allow processes to be defined with a simplified BPMN modeling syntax, all in a browser environment. There will be bundled applications that can be cloned and modified.

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This is not intended to be a replacement for the enterprise products, but to serve a different market and different personas; regardless, I imagine that a lot of the innovation that they develop in this cloud product will end up back in the enterprise applications. The scaling for the cloud BPM offering will use Docker, which will allow for deployment to private cloud at some point in the future.

With the cloud pivot in progress, the enterprise product development will slow down a bit, but Nimbus will gain a new browser-based user experience.

Case management at TIBCONOW 2016

Breakout sessions continue with Jeremy Smith and Nicolas Marzin of TIBCO presenting their case management functionality. Marzin went through the history of process and how we have moved from pre-defined processes and automation to more flexible and personalized work methods; in general, this is driving the application of case management and other unstructured work tools in addition to structured BPM. It’s no longer just about cost-cutting and efficiency, but also about innovation, agility and competitive differentiation. Although he made a link between case management and digital disruption, there are also many use cases for more flexible work handling, such as claims management and incident handling.

Smith talked about the case-centric capabilities enabled by ActiveMatrix BPM, presenting it as an approach to building applications rather than a separate product offering. He made the distinction between back office processes, where the organization determines the employees’ journey (I don’t fully agree, since there is a lot of back office knowledge work), while the path of front office processes are driven by the customer. TIBCO takes a data-centric approach to case management, where any entity can be a case, and a case can contain processes (or process fragments), rules, actions, analytics, and collaboration. Unlike the usual big process application built with AMX BPM, case management can start much simpler with the objects, data and basic actions, then add in more of the capabilities as the needs emerge.

wp-1463604177424.jpgHe showed a transportation-related case dashboard used by a knowledge worker, with a milestone/stage timeline, business actions (which may trigger processes), case details, and contextual details (linked cases, processes, tasks and navigation). States and actions drive the cases forward rather than pre-defined processes, so that actions can be triggered when certain states are reached or data values updated. Workers can select actions based on the case state and their permission level.

This seems to be more of an application framework/example than a case management platform, although the claim is that semi-technical analysts can create these applications. There’s another session later today on the low-code application development environment used to create case management applications; there are certainly a lot of questions left unanswered by this session about how case really fits in with AMX BPM.

Intelligent Business Operations at TIBCONOW 2016

wp-1463598777880.jpgNicolas Marzin of TIBCO gave a breakout session on making business operations intelligent, starting with the drivers of efficiency, agility, quality and transparency. There are a number of challenges to achieving this in terms of work management: workers may have too many queues to monitor and not know which is most important, or people may be having work assigned to them that they are either over- or under-qualified to complete. This can result in missed SLAs and unhappy customers, lower efficiency, and lack of agility since business priorities aren’t enforced.

Looking at a day in the life of an operational business user, they need to know their own and their team’s performance goals, and what work that they should be completing that day in order to achieve those goals. Managers are concerned about their team as a whole, including whether they are meeting goals and SLAs, whether they have sufficient resources, and how to prioritize work. Managers need tools for real-time metrics, workforce administration, workload balancing, and changing priorities on the fly. ActiveMatrix BPM provides the ability to model your workforce in terms of roles, groups, privileges, relationships and capabilities; rules are applied to create a distribution strategy that determines what work is assigned to what resource at any point in a business process. Typically, work is assigned to a subset of the workforce whose skills match the requirement, since allocating work to an individual creates an operational risk if that person is absent or overloaded with work. AMX BPM includes process patterns for resource management: separation of duties, retain familiar, chaining and piling.

wp-1463598797560.jpgAnalytics comes into play in the management dashboard, where Spotfire is used to monitor operational performance and trigger actions directly from the dashboard. Typical visualization include work backlog and SLAs, resources pool workload and capacity, process and case performance, and business data in context. Marzin showed examples of dashboards for real-time tracking of work backlog and staffing, plus as-is forecasting that identifies bottlenecks. The charts show the factors that are most important for a manager to make resource allocation decisions, understand staffing needs based on combinations of skills, and reprioritize specific work types, which can then be pushed back to AMX BPM.

wp-1463598810544.jpgThis is fairly traditional BPM and case management, with rule-based workforce management, but that’s a huge part of where AMX BPM is being used in practice. However, their workforce management is fairly advanced compared to many competitive solutions, and using Spotfire for operational analytics raises the bar in active manager dashboards while allowing for what-if prediction and simulation on the fly. This ties in to the “closing the loop” theme of the day, where manager dashboard actions feed directly back to adjust the workforce management rules. This level of integrated visual analytics for AMX BPM is long overdue, but it looks like they’ve turned the previous demo-ware into something much more robust and generally applicable.

As an aside, I’ve done some presentations recently about the need to align incentives with corporate goals; although individual performance statistics are important, it’s key to ensure that they match up with overall goals, and include measurements of collaboration and teamwork too. Metrics for collaboration are just starting to emerge, and are not included in most BPM or other work management platforms.

Closing the loop with analytics: TIBCONOW 2016 day 2 keynote

Yesterday at TIBCO NOW 2016, we heard about the first half of TIBCO’s theme — interconnect everything — and today, Matt Quinn introduced the second half — augment intelligence — before turning the stage over to Mark Palmer, SVP engineering for streaming analytics.

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Palmer talked about the role of analytics over history, and how today’s smart visual analytics allow you to be first to insight, then first to action. We then had a quick switch to wp-1463592680877.pngBrad Hopper, VP strategy for analytics, for a demo of Spotfire visual analytics while wearing a long blond wig (attempting to make a point about the importance of beauty, I think). He built an analytics dashboard while he talked, showing how easy it is to create visual analytics and trigger smart actions. He went on to talk about data preparation and cleansing, which can often take as much as 50% of an analyst’s time, and demonstrated importing a CSV file and using quick visualizations to expose and correct potential problems in the underlying data. As always, the Spotfire demos are very impressive; I don’t follow Spotfire closely enough to know what’s new, but it all looks pretty slick.

wp-1463592703428.pngMichael O’Connell, TIBCO’s chief analytics officer, came up to demonstrate a set of analytics applications for a fictitious coffee company: sales figures and drilldowns, with what-if predictions for planning promotions; and supply chain management and smart routing of product deliveries.

Palmer came back to talk about TIBCO Jaspersoft, the other side of their analytics portfolio that provides business intelligence capabilities built in to applications, but it was a pretty quick mention with no demo. A Jaspersoft demo would look pretty mundane after seeing all of the sexy Spotfire features, but it undoubtedly is a workhorse for analytics with many customers. He moved on to ways that TIBCO is helping customers to roll analytics out, from accelerators and sample source code to engagement in the community.

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He continued on with streaming analytics (Palmer was the CEO of Streambase before it was acquired TIBCO), and O’Connell came back to show an
wp-1463592771034.pngoil industry application that leverages sensor analytics to maximize equipment productivity by initiating preventative maintenance when the events emitted by the device indicate that failure may be imminent. He showed a more comprehensive interface that would be used in the head office for real-time monitoring and analysis, and a simpler tablet interface for field service personnel to receive information about wells requiring service. Palmer finished the analytics segment with a brief look at LiveView Web, a zero-code environment for building operational intelligence dashboards.

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Quinn returned to talk about their B-tree-based Graph Database, which is in preview mode now with an open API, and other areas where they are looking to provide innovative solutions. He went through a history of how they’ve grown as a technology organization, and got quite verklempt when thanking his team for how awesome they’ve continued to be over the past 18 months since the acquisition, which was really touching.

IMG_9495After the break, Adam Steltzner, NASA’s lead engineer on the Mars Rover and author of The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership, and High-Stakes Innovation, talked about innovation, collaboration and decision-making under pressure. Check out the replay of the keynote for his talk, a fascinating story of the team that built and landed the Mars landing vehicles, along with some practical tips for leaders to foster exploration and innovation in teams.

Murray Rode returned to close out the keynote by announcing the winners of their Trailblazer customer awards:

  • Norfolk Southern (Pioneer) for implementing a real-time view of their railway operations
  • CargoSmart (Innovator) for incorporating real-time optimization of shipping logistics into their cargo management software
  • First Citizens Bank (Impact) for simplifying IT structure to allow for quick creation and delivery of new branch services
  • University of Chicago Medicine (Visionary) for optimizing operating room turnover to save costs and improve service
  • TUI Group (Transformer) for transforming their platforms through integration to enable new customer-facing tourism applications

That’s it for the morning keynote, and I’m off to catch some of the breakout sessions for most of the rest of the day before we come back for the customer panel and closing keynote at the end of the day.

TIBCO Nimbus for regulatory compliance at Bank of Montreal

It’s the first afternoon of breakout sessions at TIBCO NOW 2016, and Alex Kurm from Bank of Montreal is presenting how the bank has used Nimbus for process documentation, to serve the goals of regulatory compliance and process transformation. They are one of the largest Nimbus users, and Kurm leads a team of process experts deploying Nimbus across the enterprise as part of their in-house process excellence strategy.

He provided a good overview of regulatory and compliance requirements: to quote his slide, you need to have “evidence of robust, documented standard processes to ensure compliance to risk and regulatory requirements” as a minimum. Overlaid on that, there’s an evolving set of consumer demands, moving from traditional in-person, telephone and ATM banking to web and mobile platforms. As a Canadian resident, I can attest that our banks haven’t been as responsive as desired to customer needs in the past; their focus is on operational risk and security.

wp-1463521439971.jpgBMO’s process centre of excellence maintains a knowledge hub of process best practices (including how to use Nimbus in their environment), leads and supports process-related projects, and heads up governance of all process efforts. They have about 16 people in the CoE, then process specialists out in business areas; they even have internalized the Nimbus training. Although there are a variety of tools being used for process models in the bank, they selected Nimbus because of its business-understandable notation, the ability to put all process content in one place, the built-in governance and control over the content (key for auditors to be able to review), and the direct link between process architecture and process maps.

They started on Nimbus 3 years ago with about 20 process authors working on a couple of opportunistic projects; this quickly ramped up to 300 authors by the next year, and they now have more than 500 authors (including business analysts and project managers as well as process specialists), although there are only about 160 active any given month since this work is often project-based. There are 1800 end users looking at Nimbus maps each month, with the largest number in capital markets, although the highest number of distinct initiatives is in the highly regulated area of capital markets. They organize their 20,000 Nimbus maps by core business capability, such as onboarding, then drill down into the business area; they’re looking at ways of improving that to allow for finding content by any search path. They’re also adding Spotfire to be able to interrogate the content to find non-compliant and high-risk maps for review by the CoE.

Their key use cases are:

  • Process documentation for use as a high-level procedural guide
  • A guide for compliance auditors to verify that specific checks and balances are being done
  • Requirements gathering prior to automation (they are also an ActiveMatrix BPM customer), and as ongoing documentation of the automated process

Nimbus is now a core part of their process transformation and risk mitigation strategies; interestingly, the only resistance came from other “process gurus” in the bank who had their own favorite modeling tools.

Good case study of the benefit of process documentation – even in the absence of process automation — in highly-regulated industries.

Destination: Digital at the TIBCONOW 2016 day 1 keynote

TIBCO had a bit of a hiatus on their conference while they were being acquired, but are back in force this week in Las Vegas with TIBCO NOW 2016. The theme is “Destination: Digital” with a focus on innovation, not just optimization, and the 2,000 attendees span TIBCO’s portfolio of products. You can catch the live stream here, which covers at least the general sessions each morning.

IMG_9433CMO Thomas Been opened the day by positioning TIBCO as a platform for digital transformation, then was joined by CEO Murray Rode. Rode talked about TIBCO’s own transformation over the last 18 months since the last conference, and how their customers are using TIBCO technology for real-time operations, analyzing and predicting the consumers’ needs, and enhancing the customer experience in this 4th industrial revolution that we’re experiencing. He used three examples to illustrate the scope of digital business transformation:

  • A banking customer applies and is approved for a loan through the bank’s mobile app, without documents and signatures
  • A consumer’s desires are predicted based on their behavior, and they are offered the right product at the right time
  • A customer’s order (or other interaction with a business) is followed in real-time to enhance their experience

Although TIBCO has always been about real-time, he pointed out that real-time has become the new norm: consumers don’t want to wait for information or responses, and the billions of interconnected smart devices are generating events all the time. The use of TIBCO’s software is shifting from the systems of record — although that is still their base of strength — to the systems of engagement: from the core to the edge. That means not only different types of technologies, but also different development and deployment methodologies. Their goals: interconnect everything, and augment intelligence; this seems to also represent the two main divisions for their products.

wp-1463505346663.pngThat set the stage for Ray Kurzweil, the author and futurist, who spoke about the revolution in artificial intelligence-driven innovation supported by the exponential growth in computing capabilities. The drastically dropping price performance ratio of computing is what is enabling innovation: in some cases, innovation doesn’t occur on a broad scale if it’s not cost effective. He had lots of great examples of how innovation has occurred and will continue to evolve in the future, especially around human biology, finishing up with Thomas Been joining him on stage for a conversation about Kurzweil’s research as well as the opportunities facing TIBCO’s customers. I didn’t put most of the detail in here; check for a replay on the live stream.

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Matt Quinn, TIBCO’s CTO, took over with a product overview. In this keynote, he looked at the “interconnect everything” products, leaving the “augment intelligence” side of the portfolio for tomorrow’s keynote. They’ve set some core principles for all product development: cloud first (including on-premise and hybrid, as well as public cloud), ease of use (persona-based UX, industry solutions, and support community), and industrialization (cross-product integration, more open DevOps, and IoT). He expanded the idea of “interconnect everything” to “interconnect everything, everywhere”, and brought in VP of engineering Randy Menon to talk about their cloud platform strategy specifically as it relates to integration. As Quinn mentioned, he talked about how TIBCO has always built great products for the core, or “products for the CIO” as he put it, but that they are now looking at addressing different audiences. He went through some of the new functionality in their interconnection portfolio, include enhancements to ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks, ActiveMatrix BPM (now including case management and more flexible UI building), TIBCO MDM, and FTL messaging. He also introduced and showed demos of BusinessWorks Container Edition for cloud-native integration, supporting a number of standard cloud container services; TIBCO Cloud Integration, allowing iPaaS use cases to be enabled using a point-and-click environment; and Microflows using Node.js. He talked about their Mashery acquisition and what’s coming up in the API management product with real-time APIs, richer visual analytics leveraging Spotfire, and a cloud-native hybrid gateway. Combined with the other cloud products, this provides an end-to-end environment for creating and deploying cloud APIs. But their technology advances aren’t just about developers: it’s also for “digital citizens” who want to integrate and automate a variety of cloud tools using Simplr, which allows for simple workflows and forms. Nimbus Maps, a slimmed-down version of Nimbus, is also a tool for business people who want to do some of their own process documentation.

IMG_9452Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi, director of product marketing, came up to announce Project Flogo, a lightweight IoT integration product, which they intend to make open source. It can be used to create simple workflows using a Golang-based engine that integrate with a variety of devices, a design bot in Slack and an interactive debugger; the runtime is 20-50 times smaller than similar development environments. It’s not released yet but he showed a brief demo and it’s apparently on the show floor.

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Quinn returned to mention a few other products — TIBCO Expresso; Momento; and their IoT innovations — before turning over to Raj Verma, EVP of worldwide sales to talk about their customers’ journey during the purchasing process. With 10,000+ customers and $1B in revenue, TIBCO is big but has room to grow, and a better experience during the purchase, installation and scaling of TIBCO products would help with that. They are starting to roll out some of this, which includes much more self-service for product information and downloaded trials, plus enhancements to the TIBCO community to include more training materials and support; standardized pricing for product suites; and online purchasing. Although there is still a significant field sales force to help you along, it’s possible to do much more directly, and they’re enhancing their partner channel (which Verma admitted has some significant problems in the past) if you have already have a trusted service provider. A much more customer-focused approach to sales and implementation, which was certainly required to make them more competitive.

A marathon 3-hour general session, with a lot of good content. I’m looking forward to the rest of the conference.

I’ll be speaking on a panel this afternoon on the topic of digital business, drop by and say hi if you’re at the conference.

bpmNEXT 2016 demo: Capital BPM and Fujitsu

Our final demo session of bpmNEXT — can’t believe it’s all over.

How I Learned to Tell the Truth with BPM – Gene Rawls, Capital BPM

Their Veracity tool overlays architecture and process layers using visual models, integrated with a few different BPMS (primarily IBM); create models in the tool for process and underlying technical architecture (SOA, rules and data) layers, and create linkages between them to indicate interactions. Direct integration of IBM ODM into rules layer.

Business Process and Self-Managed Teams – Keith Swenson, Fujitsu and WfMC

wp-1461264472735.jpgFinishing bpmNEXT with a presentation on self-managed teams in the context of BPM, not a demo. Contrasting organizational styles of “early structured” (aka “structured”) versus “late structured” (aka unstructured), with respective characteristics of centralized versus decentralized, and machine-style versus garden-style. Concepts of sociocracy (on which holocracy is based): a formal method for running self-managed teams that are structured around social relationships, aka dynamic governance. Extremely agile, allows ideas to boil up from the bottom. Replaces voting with consensus, where there is open discussion of options and everyone must consent that it is acceptable; objections must require a better proposal. Defining principles: consent governs policy decision making; organizing in circles; double-linking; and elections by consent. Self-managed organizations are inherently agile since good decisions are made where needed and everyone agrees. May be implications on DMN as to how decisions are modeled and captured. wp-1461264490831.jpgBPMN and CMMN can cover some of the domains of predictability; we saw other demos this week using other model types that extend further into unpredictable work, such as a process timeline view. Outstanding issues of whether BPMN should be extended to handle less predictable work, or if CMMN can handle this. Keith ended with the observation that this was the year of DMN at bpmNEXT, and issued a call to action for an open-source implementation of DMN execution with conformance suite; likely more possible than for BPMN since it is more constrained. A lot of great discussion ensued, and Keith will be spearheading a WfMC committee to look at this.

bpmNEXT 2016 demos: Appian, Bonitasoft, Camunda and Capital BPM

Last day of bpmNEXT 2016 already, and we have a full morning of demos in two sessions, the first of which has a focus on more technical development.

Intent-Driven, Future-Proof User Experience – Malcolm Ross and Suvajit Gupta, Appian

Appian’s SAIL UI development environment. Build interfaces with smart components that detect the capabilities of the runtime device (e.g., camera, Bluetooth) and enable/disable/configure components on the fly. Supports a variety of UI rendering architectures/frameworks for desktop, and generates native mobile apps for Android and iOS. Directly supports their underlying constructs such as Records and process models when building forms. Dynamic content based on selections and data on form. Fast rebranding of forms with color and logos. Full functionality on mobile devices, and offline support via caching data down to device, and saving any offline transactions to automatically synchronize when reconnected. Switch between design (tree/graphical) view and code view in IDE to support different technical capabilities of UI designers. Not a focus on BPM per se, since Appian is repositioning as more of a process-centric application development tool than BPMS, although used as the UI development environment for their process applications.

Continuous Integration: Tools to Empower DevOps in Process-Based Application Development – Charles Souillard, Bonitasoft

Embodying continuous integration for live updates of applications, enabling easier development and automated testing supported by Docker images. Demo of simple shopping cart application created using BonitaBPM, with a combination of forms, pages, layouts, custom widgets and fragments that can be rendered on desktop and mobile devices. Underlying BPMN process model with human activities connected to UI artifacts. Versioned using Subversion. The continuous integration functionality monitors checked-in changes to the application and integrates them into the dev/test repository to allow immediate testing; in the demo, a new input parameter was added to a process step; the updated code was detected and tested, with testing errors raised due to the unknown parameter. Potential to accelerate the dev-test cycle, since code can be checked in by developers several times each day, with the results automatically tested and fed back to them.

Combining DMN with BPMN and CMMN: The Open Source Way – Jakob Freund, Camunda

wp-1461259584764.pngCamunda’s “developer-friendly” BPM for developers to add process, case and decision capabilities to their applications. Their DMN decision tables allows changing decision tables at runtime for increased agility, depending on binding specified by process designer. Decisions executed as decision tasks from a process are logged as part of process history, and visible in their admin Cockpit interface to trace through decisions for a specific process instance. DMN engine also available outside decision tasks in a process, such as a REST API call from a form to dynamically update values as parameters change; when deploying a table, both a public ID for executing the table and a private ID for editing the table are generated for the REST access. Nice traceability directly into the decision table, and fast changes to production decision tables. Open source, with a free (non-production) DMN cloud version. Extra points for creating an online dungeon game using BPMN, and playing a round during the demo.